This paper characterizes dairy production systems in India, Tanzania, Kenya and Nicaragua, and describes the genetic and breeding technologies that hold promise for the advancement of global development goals.
The starting point for this brief is that weak public and private sector service delivery constrains translation of
genetic improvements into productivity gains for smallholder farmers in developing countries. It introduces integrated delivery systems as mechanisms to enhance farmer access and uptake of improved livestock and fish genetics.
The design of a livestock breeding program largely depends on adequate infrastructure—ranging from efficient collection of phenotypes, development of models, data analysis, program implementation to buy-in from the public and farmers. This key infrastructure is usually lacking in developing countries. Using novel tools that circumvent these constraints offers many opportunities to developing countries. However, this requires a range of scientific expertise not readily available, underlining the importance of collaboration between advanced universities and research institutes.
Using a value chain analysis framework, the Livestock and Fish CGIAR Research Program piloted integrated genetic interventions to catalyse the transformation of milk, meat and fish production in selected developing countries. This brief presents some outcomes and lessons from applying a value chain approach to dairy production in three East African countries of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, and fish production in Egypt.
Implementing sustainable livestock and fish breeding programs requires careful consideration of the species in question, their specific biological constraints, the production environment and the trait preferences of farmers, as well as a careful selection and use of innovative technology. Successful breeding programs rely on livestock keepers as co-owners of breeding programs as such programs are meant for them and they benefit from their full participation.
At WorldFish, the long-running selective breeding program for the Genetically Improved Farmed Tilapia (GIFT) strain is fundamental to it efforts to improve livelihoods and food security in Asia, the Pacific and Africa by improving aquaculture and fisheries. In 2016, WorldFish continued this vital GIFT breeding work, funded by the European Union, highlighted by the development of the 15th generation of GIFT and the first-ever distribution of GIFT fry to Myanmar.
Since 2002, WorldFish has run a breeding program in Egypt for a faster-growing strain of Nile tilapia, known as the Abbassa improved strain. In 2016, with funding from the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish, WorldFish continued to develop the Abbassa strain by shifting to a winter breeding cycle and preparing to produce the 14th generation.
A synthesis workshop on animal genetics led to the writing of six ‘research briefs’ summarising key lessons learnt from the past five years in the CGIAR research program (CRP) on Livestock and Fish.
On 19 September 2016, the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture, the International Livestock Research Institute and the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas host a workshop on community-based breeding at the Tropentag 2016 conference.
In May 2016, the program made some changes to flagship leadership: Karen Marshall (ILRI) has taken up the leadership of the Animal Genetics flagship, replacing John Benzie from WorldFish given his major role in developing the 2nd phase of the Fish CRP. Isabelle Baltenweck (ILRI) is assuming leadership of the Value Chain Transformation and Scaling …